Shayna Baszler – Slight of Hand

292_lgAccording to the Oxford dictionary, there are several definitions for the word trick. One says it’s “A feat of magic”, another says it’s “a difficult, dexterous, or clever act designed to amuse.” Both can be demonstrated by the wiley MMA fighter Shayna Bazsler. The “Queen of Spades” has known to pull off some magic in and out of the cage.
Baszler explained her love of card tricks, and her love of creating victories out of thin air. One of these miraculous victories came with her submission victory over Roxanne Modafferi back in 2006, with her new move, the “swing.” (Short for the “Shayna chicken wing.”)

“(I remember) the swing I hit on Roxanne. The commentators thought I was in trouble. Then all of the sudden she’s tapping,” Baszler recalls.

Baszler admits there tends to be a stereotype of ground fighting not being as exciting when it comes to submissions. Being one of the best ground tacticians in the game, she hopes to change people’s minds.

“I like submissions that everyone else throws out when they see it,” Baszler states. “I like to do submissions that are way to fantastical to ever work in MMA because they can never defend against it. How can you train against if they don’t think it will work? I like to do stuff like that. And I think it goes well, because it makes me unpredictable.”

In what could be one of the biggest women’s MMA fights to date, the number 4 ranked Baszler will be taking on the number 5 ranked Sarah Kaufman, who had a tough victory over Miesha Tate this past month at the Strikeforce Challenger’s card in San Jose. After watching the match, Baszler mentioned she did find out something about Kaufman.

“I learned she’s not a machine,” Baszler admits. “I think she is very beatable. She had this kind of aura about her that she was an unbeatable freak of nature. It’s doesn’t change how I am going to fight her or anything like that. I think it validated things…she can be taken down.”
Baszler and Kaufman know each other very well. They actually shared the same hotel room at the G-Fight conference back in January. Baszler has a high regard for Kaufman and has high expectations for this fight.

“I think it’s going to be a really great fight. I respect her a lot. And understand what I mean when I say this, because I respect her so much, I’m really gonna try to beat her up even more,” Baszler states. “This is fight of the night material. We’re both really technical. We are both comfortable in all areas. It’s gonna be good and I’m really excited about it, and really
looking forward to it.”

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